“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”
– David Allen
Did you know every person alive today has read every single word Socrates wrote about philosophy? Yes, that includes you.
Socrates taught Plato, and Plato taught Aristotle – three thinkers that formed the foundation of thought – at least in the western world – for nearly two thousand years.
(side note: to remember the order, think of the three philosophers debating philosophy in a hot tub, in a SPA.)
David Allen, the productivity guru believes you should write everything down into a collection system and leave the mind uncluttered. Socrates? Not so much.
Socrates believed he knew nothing, thus wrote nothing down. Hence the reason we’ve read everything he wrote – he wrote nothing. Socrates spoke, questioned, and lectured to people in the market places of Athens. Plato wrote.
Plato’s earliest writings were the ideas of Socrates shaped into the form of Dialogues. Without Plato, few of Socrates ideas would be known after his lifetime.
The word ‘idea’ is Greek in origin. It’s rooted in the word idein ’to see’ and then idea ‘form, pattern’.
Our mind may form the idea but to make it concrete we need to commit it to paper. To develop and expand an idea we need to discuss, share, draw, play, write and analyse it.
What do you have in mind?